Fate Brought Me To America!

My very first job was working as a junior secretary in central London.  I hated it.  Then I was offered a job at small travel agency just up the road from my former employer.  I was hired as a junior travel agent even though I had no experience in this field.

I felt like an outsider as soon as I started my new job.  The travel agency had staff issues, I had very little training  and I was left to my own devices which made me feel like a ‘fish out of water’.  Shortly thereafter I left the agency and decided to become a temp for a while to build up my self-confidence in the travel industry.  I was assigned to different agencies each week which gave me the opportunity to look for a place where I could work full time.

In the meantime I had an employment agency assisting me with my job search.  One of the first interviews scheduled for me was with a large company that handled the travel arrangements for the ‘James Bond’ movies production company.  I ended up cancelling the interview as I felt nervous about working at this company.

The next interview was with a much smaller agency and was conducted at a hotel in Mayfair directly opposite the former Thomas Cook travel company headquarters.  This became significant when I was told where the job would be and that was in a small kiosk (booth) at the front of the hotel.  Naturally I was concerned about its proximity to Thomas Cook directly across the street! I asked what would happen if this new ‘office’ of theirs failed and was told not to worry as I would be transferred to their main office not too far away.  Feeling it would not work for me I turned down the job offer.

Then I was offered a three month temporary assignment at a travel agency directly across from New Scotland Yard in London.  I accepted it and settled in very quickly.  Much to my delight I was offered a permanent position there which I accepted.  On my very first day as a full time employee it was announced that the company had been sold and a new manager was instated. Nobody was happy about it including me as the new manager was more aloof and did not connect very well with the staff. After a year or so the manager told me confidentially that he was leaving and asked if I would consider going with him as I was familiar with all of his accounts which were mainly in the entertainment business. So a few months later I accepted the job offer and moved to a new agency in the west end of London.

So here are the common denominators:

The first job interview I cancelled because I felt nervous about working there.   I found out later that the company closed its doors due to financial issues.  If I had gone to work there I would have lost my job however I would have met two of the agency’s ‘significant’ employees.

The second job I was offered and then declined (working in a kiosk opposite Thomas Cook) closed several months later.  If I had taken the job I would have been transferred to their main office nearby where I would have met the same two ‘significant’ people who, unbeknown to the agency owners, were using it as a base to set up their own business.  When their secret was discovered they were ousted before they had a financial backer in place.

The travel agency I followed my boss to in the west end of London was founded by the same two people I would have met at either of the jobs above.  However I did not know that during the time I worked for them.  When I first joined them they had just opened an office in Aberdeen that was to be managed by one of the two founders.  Three years later the staff were informed of a new office soon to be opened in Texas.  Shortly thereafter I was offered the opportunity to move to their brand new office in Houston on a two year contract.  This was in 1980.   My two year contract ended before the Houston office was closed down.  Regardless of my change of circumstances I decided to stay here and make a new life for myself.

A few years later I felt that I was here for a reason.   I started connecting the dots after going through an old journal where I made a discovery.  The very first interview that I decided to cancel would have been conducted by one of the two founders of the agency I ended up working for in London!  Each of the three job opportunities I was offered all connected to the same two people.  The timing of all of it was not a coincidence.  My move to Houston was meant to be!

Copyright © 2023 Cynthia A. Silk.  All Rights Reserved.

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